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dmkellett

Balloon Jump?

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Just wandered what the concensus is for how to exit a balloon? I have about 30 wingsuit jumps in my GTI and 3 in my new Matter suit, along with 10 plain old skydives from a balloon. In a couple of weeks i'll be over in Florida and am planning to jump the suit (GTI) from a balloon from about 6K. Having not done a zero airspeed wingsuit exit before i'd love to hear any comments about exit technique and the transition into flight. What should i do?
Thanks guys!
Darren:)

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Where are you doing these? I'm signed up for some balloon jumps (non-WS) @ Lake Wales, but they haven't told me how high yet. I'm very excited since I haven't done one yet, but if it's too low I'll probably opt out with my experience level. But 6k would be more than awesome.
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

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You might want to ask your question to some wingsuit BASE jumpers as they're the people most familiar with still air exits.

Not wishing to hijack your thread but.....can you tell us how your Matter suit compares to the GTI?

Gus
OutpatientsOnline.com

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Are you the same Darren I jumped with in FL last year (picture)

Anyway, hot air wingsuit ballon exits can be done one of two ways. A wingsuit base flyer would tell you to go off in the "perfect flight" position which will cause you to go head down for a few seconds.. the problem with hot air ballons is it is a MUST to NOT PUSH OFF you can put the ballon pilot at serious risk if you're doing it.

If i were doing it, i'd do it like my helicopter exits - knees slightly bent, arms out and fall off staying horizontal and then extending legs.

Not sure how comfortable you are with your flying skills but 6K won't give you much fly time if you're pulling at a safe altitude (3 - 4K) but it will definately be fun.

Don't loose altitude awareness!

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Having not done a zero airspeed wingsuit exit before i'd love to hear any comments about exit technique and the transition into flight. What should i do?



I've not done a balloon jump, wingsuit or not, but I have done a couple of wingsuit jumps from helicopters and half a dozen or so from big walls. The main issue with with still-air wingsuit jumps for the inexperienced is that you are likely used to stabilising yourself with your arms out in front/above you, but this is more tricky when your arms are restricted by the suit. To counter this, I favour having my arm wings extended but my leg wing collapsed (and tends to be bent back as well). Once I have some airspeed to work with, if I haven't gone head-low, I extend my legs and the lower wing and push down to level out. Of course, a good exit position is the best way to avoid going head-low. Like with a BASE exit, focus your eyes above the horizon, and push from the chest more upwards than outwards.

Since one of the best things about jumping from a balloon, I would imagine, apart from the initial still-air, is the perception of falling relative to the balloon, so you might want to fall off backwards. Have you done much back flying? I haven't tried this, but I would guess trying to fall of flat backwards, woul dcause you to flip, so you might want to fall back bent at the waste, but with wings extended, and then slowly flatten out as the speed increases.
Skydiving Fatalities - Cease not to learn 'til thou cease to live

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Like with a BASE exit, focus your eyes above the horizon, and push from the chest more upwards than outwards



Oops, just read Kevin's post about not pushing off from a balloon; goes to prove my inexperience. Doesn't stop you from presenting your chest and arching, trying to stay head-high. If you can't you just build up the speed and fly out of it.
Skydiving Fatalities - Cease not to learn 'til thou cease to live

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Just wandered what the concensus is for how to exit a balloon?



Darren, what's up dude, You still in Mi.? My advice to you on the exit and IMO the easiest way to stick it is to exit chest high at about a 45 degree angle(forward lean) . Once you leave the basket bend your knees back slightly and begin to open your arms once you start to pick up speed(2-3 seconds after launch). When you feel yourself start to fly you can punch it out for all your worth. Here are a couple of good examples. Cheers mate;)
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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I jumped a balloon over Canberra, Australia’s National Capital city last month – in the news today as George W arrived last night for a short visit.

Couple things I’d suggest for your balloon jump:

1. I took along a little plastic step-ladder which was about the height of the basket. This made getting to the top of the basket and then standing on the edge a real easy task. Without the ladder, getting out would have been a drag – as climbing up and over would be somewhat restricted by the suit.
2. I just stepped off (did not push off), legs bent and wings fully extended – same as a base exit
3. I probably extended legs a little soon as I went a bit head down – but almost immediately the arms pressurised and I was off and flying

My exit height was 7000’. So I had a nice long flight before pulling.

It was a blast of a jump. In fact, it was my birthday and I landed just up the road from my office. A really nice way to get to work!!

Blue Skies,

fergbirdB|

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The balloon WS jumps have alluded me thus far but on one Helo jump I was in the door opposite the direction I needed to fly so I just did a lazy back flip off the skid, by the time I had flight velocity I was belly to earth. If you are not facing the direction you need to go in your suit this may be an option. Another option instead of an entire back flip would be to step off facing the balloon without stepping to far back, standing straight up you will, once clearing gondola, start to fall face forward and into the correct flight attitude.

As far as "kicking" hard off the balloon, its working against you unless you are trying to do a bunch of tight flips quick. It is not That Dangerous, it has more to do with the skill and comfort level of the pilot. This goes for helicopter pilots too.

Some are comfortable having an uneven load rock the ship on exit, see the mass exits on world record balloon jumps as an extreme example. Others want staged exits symmetrically on either side while the balloon is in a descending state only.
Some helo pilots don't care if you have a massive one sided exit with hangers as long as you don't scrtch the paint job ( secure those seat belts behind you), others only want one jumper at a time and no kicking off or rocking the pendulum.
If your balloon pilot is mostly use to taking wuffos, who stand absolutely still in the gondola, on champaigne flights at 2k or less and looks at delivering skydivers as a dirty job as fill in, you can guess what kind of confort level this individual will bring.
If your helo pilot normaly flys traffic watch as opposed to doing movie work or has Combat time you can tell how "extreme" an exit will be allowed.

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Did a Birdman balloon jump this last weekend at Skydive Hutchinson's Yearly Balloon Boogie. My exit wasn't great. The pilot would only let us exit on one side of the basket. I just tumbled off but was able to get stable quickly. The jump was a Two-way, nothing special except we exited from two different balloons. No video but had lots of witnesses. Thanks a lot Lil Jon and congrats on your knighthood.

Cody

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